O’Rourke, Gillibrand, Yang and Delaney court N.H. voters

  • Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke smiles as he stands with his wife Amy while being introduced at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, N.H., Friday, May 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa

  • Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke smiles as he arrives with his wife Amy for a campaign stop at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, N.H., Friday, May 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa

  • Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke shakes hands with a guest while arriving at a campaign stop at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, N.H., Friday, May 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa

  • Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke addresses a gathering at a campus library during a campaign stop at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, N.H., Friday, May 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa

  • Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke gestures during a campaign stop at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, N.H., Friday, May 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa

  • Amy O'Rourke, left, applauds as her husband Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke addresses a gathering at a campus library at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, N.H., Friday, May 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa

  • Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke addresses a gathering during a campaign stop at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, N.H., Friday, May 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa

  • Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke smiles as he stands with his wife Amy while being introduced at a gathering at a campus library at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, N.H., Friday, May 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa

  • Andrew Yang speaks to a voter at Revelstoke in Concord. PAUL STEINHAUSER / For the Monitor

  • Andrew Yang speaks to voters at Revelstoke in Concord. PAUL STEINHAUSER / For the Monitor

  • Andrew Yang speaks to a voter at Revelstoke in Concord. PAUL STEINHAUSER / For the Monitor

  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand speaks at A&E Coffee & Tea In Goffstown. PAUL STEINHAUSER / For the Monitor

  • Beto O’Rourke attends a house party in Hooksett. PAUL STEINHAUSER / For the Monitor

For the Monitor
Published: 5/10/2019 6:29:35 PM
Modified: 5/10/2019 6:29:23 PM

He was the rising star when he first announced his White House bid in March, but Beto O’Rourke’s lost much of his luster over the last month as he battled a growing field of 20 other candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The former three-term congressman from Texas, in New Hampshire this weekend, pointed out that in the race for the White House “there are a series of peaks and valleys for almost every major party candidate. Few have cruised without difficulty into victory.”

O’Rourke was one of four White House contenders stopping near Concord on Friday as they campaigned in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state.

While O’Rourke was at a house party in Hooksett on Friday morning, Andrew Yang was in Concord. The New York-based entrepreneur was chatting with customers and employees at Revelstoke Coffee on Main Street, which has become a hot spot for presidential candidates in the 2020 election cycle.

Yang, once the longest of long-shots for the nomination, has been generating some buzz over the past month.

“You’re seeing some of the polls have me at 3% here in New Hampshire and nationwide, we raised over $3 million,” Yang said during an interview with the Monitor.

The major reason for his semi-surge in recent weeks is his so-called “freedom dividend.”

Since launching his campaign over a year ago, Yang’s been pushing his proposal for a universal basic income for all adult Americans. He’s promising, if elected, to pay $1,000 a month to each person age 18 to 65 with no strings attached.

Yang says he’ll pay for a nationwide universal basic income with a value-added tax, known as a VAT. He’s estimated a 10% VAT would raise some $700 to $800 billion. To promote his idea, he’s paying $1,000 per month to a family in New Hampshire out of his own pocket.

The candidate recently met both criteria to make this summer’s first two Democratic primary presidential debates, which are expected to be watched by millions of Americans.

“Most Americans are just tuning in. Most Americans don’t even know precisely who’s running in 2020,” Yang said.

Yang, who still suffers from a lack of name recognition, emphasized that the first two debates “will be an amazing opportunity to introduce myself and the campaign to the American people.”

While Yang is just starting to capture some lightning in a bottle, O’Rourke’s grappling with no longer being the star in a record-setting field of Democratic contenders that’s topped 20 candidates.

O’Rourke soared in the polls and posted eye-popping fundraising figures as he basked in generous media attention and large crowds on the campaign trail in the first couple of weeks after he declared his candidacy.

But the buzz soon ended and poll numbers edged downward.

O’Rourke says he’s not concerned.

“This is going to take time. Some days are going to be tougher than others, but the fundamentals remain the same,” he said. “It’s connecting with people, listening to them, and bringing their stories, their perspectives into the conversation, into the campaign.”

He said he won’t get down by the latest poll numbers.

“I really can’t get distracted on what’s happening in the short-term,” he said. “We’re playing for the long-term in this race.”

Gillibrand says Biden’s lead due to name ID

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was making her case Friday afternoon to a crowd gathered at A&E Coffee & Tea in downtown Goffstown.

Granite State voters listened to the Democrat presidential candidate from New York as she was surrounded by a throng of national and local political reporters, as well as a camera crew from C-SPAN.

Gillibrand, who jumped into the White House race in January, is far from the top of the polls. The front-runner right now is former vice president Joe Biden.

But the senator said Biden’s large lead over the rest of the field is due to his vast advantage when it comes to name recognition.

“It is very early and I think there’s an enormous advantage if you do have 100% name recognition. And there’s an advantage if you have more coverage,” Gillibrand explained.

Gillibrand said she can beat Biden and the rest of her rivals in the primaries by “building up my own name recognition, which means coming to New Hampshire over and over and talking to voters about the issues they care about.”

The senator, who represented a moderate to conservative upstate New York district in the House of Representatives last decade, touted that she can win “the red places and the blue places at the same time.”

Pointing to her 2018 re-election in the Senate, she spotlighted “in my last election, I won back 18 Trump counties.”

Gillibrand said she can “win places like Wisconsin and Michigan and Pennsylvania,” three states that Republican President Donald Trump flipped from blue to red in 2016, helping him capture the White House.

Gillibrand’s poll numbers are hovering in the low single digits in national and early primary and caucus voting states. But she said she’s not concerned, pointing out that there’s still nine months to go until the actual primary voting begins.

“I think it’s really early. It’s obviously a marathon and not a sprint,” she said. “And my record is really different than most candidates that are running.”

Delaney says his ‘ideas are better’ than 2020 rivals

John Delaney also says he isn’t phased by Biden’s large lead in the polls.

The former three-term congressman from Maryland, who faces a steep uphill climb to capture the Democratic presidential nomination, said Biden’s “very well-known and he’s very well-liked, and I admire him greatly.”

Both Biden and Delaney are considered to be more moderate than many of their 2020 rivals, such as Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

“I think my ideas are better,” Delaney said on his way to the Tilton Diner to greet voters. “I think I’m a new face, which I think is what the party really wants. I think we want new ideas and new people.”

Still, he applauded Biden for entering the race.

“I think in many ways it’s a reminder that we need a moderate candidate who can win the center to beat Donald Trump. So, in that regard I think it’s good because it will lead the party to a discussion we need to have, which is how we win,” he explained. “I think the former vice president entering the race will help accelerate that conversation.”

He once again argued that only a centrist Democratic nominee can defeat Donald Trump in the 2020 general election.

“The only way we’re going to beat (Trump) is with a candidate the center believes will not derail the progress we’ve made economically,” Delaney said. “For example, if you put socialism on the ballot, we’re not going to win. If the economy’s doing well and we’re running on socialism, I think that’s a disaster for us.”

Delaney, as he often does, touted his humble beginnings as a “blue-collar kid” who was the first in his family to go to college and went on to become the youngest CEO in the history of the New York Stock Exchange.




Concord Monitor Office

1 Monitor Drive
Concord,NH 03301
603-224-5301

 

© 2019 Concord Monitor
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy